Helping to make two Fife towns dementia friendly

Moves are underway to help two Fife communities achieve dementia friendly status.

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 11:27 am
From left: Christine Waddell, Ruth McCabe and Jane Allen. Pic:  Fife Photo Agency.
From left: Christine Waddell, Ruth McCabe and Jane Allen. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.

A series of awareness sessions have been held in Aberdour and Burntisland.

And it is hoped to have as many businesses in both locations to sign up to the free scheme for them to be given the honorary accolade.

Both communities have been stimulated to become dementia friendly as both have young women with the condition living in them, and locals have been made aware of them so they can be offered extra support.

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So far across Fife a number of organisations have been awarded the status including Fife Voluntary Action, Shopmobility, Fife Carers Centre, Fife Shopping and Support Service, Link Living and St Ninian’s cafe and charity shop in Glenrothes.

In Burntisland, a number of places including The Toll Community Centre, Library, Macauley’s Fruit and Veg, C. Sinclair Fresh Fish Merchants, Christine’s Alterations and the Co-op have all signed up to the scheme along with the Post Office in Aberdour.

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Two dementia-friendly awareness sessions are taking place in Aberdour this month on February 11 and February 18 from 3.30 to 4.30pm at the Institute in Shore Road.

Businesses and locals are invited to sign up to become a dementia friend.

The sessions are being led by Ruth McCabe from Fife Council’s Fife Health and Social Care Partnership.

Working with Alzheimer Scotland, she is spearheading the local authority’s commitment to make communities a safer and more aware place for those with dementia to live a fuller and more active life.

The course has been designed as an introduction to dementia, so that carers and the wider community can learn more about the subject and feel more confident about discussing the condition and for administering care.

The training covers all aspects of dementia, including the symptoms to look out for, information on how dementia is diagnosed, the different types of dementia, and tips on how locals can make life easier for anyone living with the condition.

The initiative follows a similar format to a Fife Council dementia aware pilot which was successfully rolled out in Glenrothes in 2016.

A woman from Burntisland, who didn’t want to be named, told the Press how she has been affected since she was diagnosed with dementia a couple of years ago.

She said: “I 57 years old which is not that old and I have dementia.

“ It is in my family but I always thought it was just older people who had it. I am fit and healthy it is just my brain is not working very well now. Sometimes it makes me feel very frustrated because things I used to do easily without thinking takes a long time to do now.

“My speech goes sometimes and I cant get the things I want to say because I can’t think how to pronounce things. Spatial awareness is another problem.”

She has received support and met others with the condition through an Early Onset Dementia Group which meets in Kirkcaldy and said the more awareness there is in communities, the more it can help her go about her daily life in the town.

Ruth said: “We did a project in Glenrothes for two years and it was successful and so the council wanted to roll it out across Fife. I have been able to recruit activists like Christine and Jane to help me. Christine approached me about Aberdour as she had heard about the work through local churches so we have been visiting businesses here and trying to get them to become dementia friends.

“We are also working in Burntisland and trying to target coastal villages. We are hoping that both communities will get a badge which says they are dementia friendly.”